George Müller, on answered prayer, after being asked if the Lord had always been faithful to His promises:
‘Always’, replied Müller, ‘He has never failed me! For nearly 70 years every need in connection with this work has been supplied. The orphans from the first until now, have numbered nine thousand five hundred, but they have never wanted a meal. Never! Hundreds of times we have commenced the day without a penny in hand, but our Heavenly Father has sent supplies by the moment they were actually required. There never was a time when there was no unwholesome meal. During all these years I have been enabled to trust in God, the living God, and in Him alone. One million four hundred thousand pounds have been sent to me in answer to prayer. We have wanted as much as fifty thousand pounds in one year, and it has all come by the time it has been really needed.’ (emphasis mine)
Müller was born in Germany, and moved to England as a missionary in the early-1800’s. He started out his ministry as a church planter and pastor, but after seeing a desperate need for good orphan care he shifted his focus to starting homes for children. For over 50 years he ran an orphanage that consisted by the end of 5 houses that cared for over 1,200 children (at one time!) from birth-17 years old. He revolutionized orphan care in the nation of England, and by the time of his death the entire system had been transformed, largely because of his efforts.
In addition to the orphanage, his church supported missionaries all over the world, including Hudson Taylor in China! He started the Scripture Knowledge Institute that trained hundreds of men in theology and teaching, and spent the last twenty years of his life traveling over 200,000 miles around the world sharing the gospel to thousands upon thousands of people.
All of this work was accomplished by bringing his needs before the Lord only. He founded his organization on the conviction and belief that God would answer when asked. That blows my mind. As I read his biography (Delighted in God by Roger Steer), I was/still am a bit at war in my heart on what I thought about that. One cannot deny that God clearly provided for Müller, and that his approach brought God much glory. But I alos have wondered if they would have seen God provide even more, had they simply asked and made their needs known. There is a balance, I think, between trusting God to provide without ever speaking, and trusting God to use your voice in drawing others closer to Himself as they give.
Sometimes I have doubts that God is really big enough to provide, but reading about the life of this man has given me renewed faith in God’s provision. So often I have a limited view of the omnipotent God. I start to worry, but then am reminded that I am the finite one, He the infinite. I have limitations, He is the owner of everything we can and cannot see. I am broken and flawed, He is perfect and Holy. I can only see one minute at a time, He sees every moment at once. I only know what I need moment by moment, He knows all of my needs and exactly how He is going to provide!
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